Classcraft is an online educational role-playing game
developed by Canadian high school physics teacher Shawn
Young, and aims to make learning an adventure in New
Zealand schools. Photo suppied.
A new online educational role-playing game, touted as
being able to ''supercharge the way school pupils learn'', is
attracting much attention from New Zealand schools.
The game, Classcraft, was released in New Zealand and
Australia this week, and already the Canadian designers of
the game have received a flood of inquiries from Kiwi schools
about using the game in their classrooms.
Classcraft is the brainchild of Canadian high school
physics teacher Shawn Young, who saw an opportunity to
leverage technology to encourage teamwork, increase pupil
motivation and foster good classroom behaviour.
Mr Young told the Otago Daily Times this week the
world was experiencing a shift in education practices, where
schools had access to more technology and information than
However, they needed better tools to engage pupils in ways
that were compatible with how they learnt today.
''That's why we developed Classcraft and have worked so hard
to ensure that the game is customisable for any classroom,
anywhere in the world.
''As Canadians, we feel a strong historic bond with
Australia, and New Zealand in particular.
''Both countries are important markets for Classcraft
and we've already received inquiries and interest from
teachers in the region looking to implement the game in their
Mr Young said he created the game after searching for a
new way to engage and motivate his 11th grade pupils.
He did it by tapping into his background in gaming and web
After testing the game with his pupils for three years and
drawing interest from colleagues, he teamed up with his
business-savvy father Lauren Young and creative director
brother Devin Young, to build a refined version of the game
that is subject-agnostic and customisable.
Classcraft easily layered on top of existing lesson
plans to supplement classroom learning, he said.
''Students today learn differently than they did 50 years
ago, but the way we teach hasn't quite caught up.
''We have amazing technology at our fingertips, yet we
haven't figured out how to unlock its fullest potential in
''When I started testing Classcraft with my students,
I saw engagement skyrocket, and in some cases, even saw those
who were failing, turn around their grades.
''The beauty of the game is that it goes beyond the textbook
to teach real-world skills like teamwork through something
that every student can relate to - play.''
Mr Young said the game taught the value of co-operation, team
spirit, classroom etiquette, hard work, and the idea that
learning could be fun.
''Playing Classcraft has a real-life impact for
students. They earn experience points by scoring well on
exams, helping other students, having a positive attitude or
by participating in class.
''Conversely, they lose points by showing up late to class,
disrupting the class or by poor results on exams and